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Thread: How many users can a single server handle?

  1. #1
    Shhh! monkeypants's Avatar
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    How many users can a single server handle?

    Does anyone have information about how many users can realisticaly connect to a single Flash Com server?

    Lets assume that the server is connected to a single T1.

    For example, if I am running an application such as the sample presentation (presenter video/mic and 1 at a time viewer video/mic), how many viewers would be able to view the presentation before the server bogs down?
    "Rock-n-Roll is dead. These days it's all about bling bling...pinky ring" -Marky Mark

  2. #2
    Danny Gomez Creations cosmiceye's Avatar
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    hi monkeypanties
    it depends on :
    *which licence you are running
    {developer:5 , probably illegal:unlimited}
    *the applications and the pc performace
    You mentioned video/audio. Video is most likely the most performance- eating process, becouse video streams are to be encoded by the server. I dont think that the server could be holding much more than 20 video streaming connections on a pentium 2 pc without beginning to flip out. If the video is pre-recorded and its only one video/audio streaming out to every connection...then its different.

    ...anyone with greater knowledge? I dont feel like I was the right one to answer this anymore
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  3. #3
    Shhh! monkeypants's Avatar
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    Thanks Danielle

    To elaborate a bit further, I'm wondering more about the machine and less about the software license (if I need an unlimited user license I'll go that way)and internet pipe, and more about how much the machine can actually handle.

    The servers I'm going with will have at least 2 Xeon 2gig processors, and at least 2 gigs of memory each. I'm really wondering just how much a machine like that will effectively handle before bogging down.

    The Flash Com apps I will be running will have more viewers than broadcasters. Most of the apps will be panel presentations, with 100+ viewers on broadband connections, so I'm really concerned about how many outbound audio/video streams the server will handle, and at what point I will need to start clustering servers.

    Anyone have any experience with this? I couldn't find any good info on the Macromedia site.
    Last edited by monkeypants; 05-06-2003 at 04:53 PM.
    "Rock-n-Roll is dead. These days it's all about bling bling...pinky ring" -Marky Mark

  4. #4
    Danny Gomez Creations cosmiceye's Avatar
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    Originally posted by monkeypants
    Thanks Danielle

    The servers I'm going with will have at least 2 Xeon 2gig processors, and at least 2 gigs of memory each. .
    jesus christ in a taxicab, now thats hardware.
    ... lol "danielle"
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  5. #5
    Shhh! monkeypants's Avatar
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    Originally posted by cosmiceye
    jesus christ in a taxicab, now thats hardware.
    Yeah... it's going to be for commercial applications intended to compete with teleconferencing services such as those provided by AT&T. I certainly won't be working on the same scale as AT&T, but I imagine that a number of smaller outfits(like mine)will take a good chunk of the business the big boys are commanding now.
    "Rock-n-Roll is dead. These days it's all about bling bling...pinky ring" -Marky Mark

  6. #6
    psx = new Moderator();
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    Monkeypants -

    Unfortunately, I don't have that many friends to help me test this one

    I think from the start though, it'd be a good idea to design your app around clustering, even if you fake it initially on one server to get it working. (use 2+ app instances to act as servers) If you're going after an audience that large, you're going to need to cluster at some point.

    I know this probably isn't the info you wanted to here.. but I've not got any hard numbers to tell when a server should reach it's limit. I'm guessing though as far as encoding, if it's one stream to many, it only gets encoded once?

    If it helps at all, I'm about to start testing on an app that is expected to have one broadcaster, and up to 400 users. I'll try to post the results of those tests here.

    psx

  7. #7
    Shhh! monkeypants's Avatar
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    Thanks PSX

    It's looking like we'll have as many as 6 servers to start with, and we'd like to be able run 2 or 3 large audience apps at once. I was thinking that the best answer would be to have the servers working in pairs, rather than running one large cluster, as part of our marketing scheme is to sell the service as run on dedicated servers (per application).

    I'm looking forward to hearing the results of your presentation. Could you let me know about the hardware and internet pipe you're using for it?
    "Rock-n-Roll is dead. These days it's all about bling bling...pinky ring" -Marky Mark

  8. #8
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    my 2 cents

    I would be willing to bet that your coupled 2ghrtz xeon w 2gigs ram will run circles around what your transfer speed...

    I run a 50+ lan based network on duron 950 w/256 megs sdr.
    runs slow but there no money for me to upgrade yet.
    a simple upgrade to a XP chip even a lower ghrtz would catch all that up. So for 50+ lan based, high lan traffic a XP 1.6 would run it.
    The application on lan used is a multi database call center application and is a recource hog. (early stages of devolopment)
    the only think goatin me is the chip cache. Damn durons have no cache.
    Doesn't help that the agents machines are duron 800 with 128 megs sdr ram and running XP wich really needs 256 just for operating sytem.

    looking at that comperrison I am sure your machines will be fine..
    stress your transfer rate... not your machines...
    especailly if audio/video streaming media...
    the one of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory that serves as the organized conscious mediator between the person and reality especially by functioning both in the perception of and adaptation to reality

  9. #9
    Shhh! monkeypants's Avatar
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    My main problem was that Macromedia has done a pretty bad job about publishing stress test results on their site. One of the tech support reps at MM was kind enough to send me the white paper on their latest tests... and it looks very promising.

    I knew when I started researching for the project that bandwidth was going to be a major issue. My local phone company can set me up with as little as 1.5 megs (on a t1), and as much as 155megs on a dedicated OC3 line. I don't think I'll need that much right away, but as the business grows...

    In the meantime, I'll most likely start out with a 20meg T3 line. The T3 can handle as much as 45 megs... but if it gets to that point I'll be seeing enough return from the servers to warrant shelling out the $29,000 a month for the 155mbps OC3 service.

    Incidentally... according to macromedia's test reports:

    On the Dual 1.1 GHz Pentium 3 Windows 2000 Server with a
    1 Gigabit Ethernet Card, Communication Server was able to effectively deliver 640 300 Kbps streams to receiving clients, creating a total bandwidth of 187 Mbps.

    On the Dual 1.1 GHz Pentium 3 Windows 2000 Server with a 1 Gigabit Ethernet Card, Communication Server was able to effectively deliver 980 33 Kbps streams to receiving clients, creating a total bandwidth of 12 Mbps.

    Seems pretty good. There's no way I'll be using 300kbps streams for all of my apps, and I don't forsee there being more than 500 users on a server at once.
    Last edited by monkeypants; 05-12-2003 at 07:20 PM.
    "Rock-n-Roll is dead. These days it's all about bling bling...pinky ring" -Marky Mark

  10. #10
    Lifesaver Lightwave Network's Avatar
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    Monkeypants,

    Basically, it's tough to determine true results of a "Stress Test" for FlashCom because it varies so much on how your app works. Basically, you'll have to do the math to get it right.

    Figure out what the average memory, CPU and bandwidth usage is for two users, divide by two, then multiply each by the number of users you expect to have. You'll get a good rough estimate of what to expect.

    Also, you'll need to consider the fact that since FlashCom came out, there have been a LOT of us developing those little anti-long distance and anti-AT&T/Microsoft applications for online tele/videoconferencing. Unless you're certain that your user projections are correct, I wouldn't push more money than you can't make back within a couple of months on 6 servers, simply because there are a lot of people doing the same thing and competition in this area is going to get nuts really, really soon (kind of HAS already...)

    Anyhow, good luck to ya!


    ... gimme just one more line of code to ease the pain.

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